What is a Knowledge Organiser?
A knowledge organiser is a document, usually one side of A4 for EYFS and KS1 and two sides for KS2, that contains key facts and information that children need to have a basic knowledge and understanding of a topic. Knowledge organisers will capture the key information and vocabulary for a topic. At Penponds children will have one knowledge organiser in EYFS and KS1 and in KS2 they will have one for topic and usually a separate one for science.
What are the benefits of Knowledge Organisers?
Our knowledge organisers are presented in a clear and simple format making them accessible for both children and adults. They set out what children can expect to learn in a topic and what they should know by the end. They list key facts and information or ‘sticky knowledge’ (the bits we want to stick in their memory) that children will learn throughout the topic. They also list key facts and information, that children should already know from previous learning. The presentation and amount of content of our knowledge organisers develop throughout the years as children get older and progress through the school.
Research shows that our brains remember things more efficiently when we know the ‘bigger picture’ and can see the way that little pieces of knowledge within that subject area link together. Making links, essentially, helps information move into our long-term memory.
How should my child use it?
Your child will receive a knowledge organiser to bring home with them for each topic. Please read the organiser with your child and re-cap any prior knowledge your child should already know. This is a great opportunity for your child to show off what they have remembered! Key vocabulary for the topic will also be listed and again this is a great opportunity to discuss what these words mean with your child.
‘Sticky Knowledge’ home books have now been introduced (Spring 2022). Your child may want to do some work at home in their ‘Sticky Knowledge’ book to show their learning of the topic and the key information shared on the Sticky Knowledge Organiser. This could be drawings, writing, photographs of models they have made, definitions they have researched about key vocabulary – anything that shows the learning on the knowledge organiser. We would love to see it! The home learning books will also have any spellings for the half term to practise and their Maths KIRFs (Key Instant Recall Facts). Some older classes may have some extra work, such as grammar activities, every so often as we prepare them for secondary school.
In school, your child will have a 'Memory Scrapbook' (introduced Spring 2022) that will travel through your child's learning journey with them at Penponds.
These will also have the Sticky Knowledge Organisers in, and children will be completing work every couple of weeks to show what they have learnt so far in the topic. We will also be teaching memory strategy activities based on action-based research by Rich Allen (Green Light Classrooms) which will help them access their long-term memory. We want to ensure that children remember what they have been taught, because if they can't remember it, we may as well have never taught it.
The work children will complete in their Memory Scrapbook, will be and should be unique to them. Children will be able to have ownership and choose how they want to present their learning. Although in the younger years they will be supported in this initially. The point is if every child creates the same piece of work, in the same way, it isn't special to them and will not ignite their memory. If is it special and personal to them - it will.
At the end of the topic, children will take part in Memory Cafes, where they will go back and look at their memory work, share their scrapbook with a friend over a drink and a snack and discuss their learning so far. If their friend has remembered something they did not, they can edit their Memory Scrapbook. Children will revisit these books throughout their time at Penponds - eventually children will be looking back at their memory work form Reception when they are in Year 6!